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Healthwatch Lancashire captures views about access to mental health services

Healthwatch Lancashire has published a report that captures views from the public about access to mental health services and the issues they face.

The report comes as part of a three-month-long project with the aim of giving service providers insight in to what the public know and feel about mental health and the services available to them.

Results from the report show that:

•56% of people we spoke to said they had been affected by self-harm. The age group that reported this the most was 36-45 year olds.

•62% of people we spoke to said the information on mental health and services is not accessible and helpful.

•Almost 70% of the people we spoke to said it would be helpful to have more online/app services to support with mental health.

•17% of those who chose to comment told us that their mental health is being affected by employment, either current or lack of.

•When asked ‘What changes would you like to see regarding mental health by the year 2020?’, 22% of people said they would like more support in general and easier access to services. A further 7% specified that they would like more local community support.

The project saw staff and volunteers from Healthwatch Lancashire engaging with people in a variety of settings and speaking to a range of groups including young people, LGBT groups, learning disability groups, as well as revisiting some groups from the previous homelessness and deprivation project.

We asked a series of questions relating to views about mental health, what services are available, how to access them, online support benefits and what changes the public would like to see to current services.

Sheralee Turner-Birchall, Chief Executive at Healthwatch Lancashire, said: “Healthwatch Lancashire is here to make sure all people in our communities are listened to and this project gives a voice to those who suffer with mental health, have done so in the past, or know a family member or friend who has done so.

“This report identifies areas where mental health services, or access to these services, can be improved based on the views of those who are using them.

“The public’s voice will enable us to challenge providers about mental health services off the back of significant intelligence we have received to suggest that things do indeed need to be improved.”

The full report ‘Access to mental health services’ can be read and downloaded online at www.healthwatchlancashire.co.uk/reports un der the 'Special Reports' tab.